Differences in self-perception and acculturation among Hispanic children with and without learning disabilities

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Counseling Psychology

First Committee Member

Margaret Crosbie-Burnett, Committee Chair

Second Committee Member

Sharon Vaughn, Committee Member


The purpose of this investigation was to determine if Hispanic children with learning disabilities (LD) differed on academic and nonacademic self-perception when compared to Hispanic children without LD. In addition, this study investigated what relationship, if any, level of acculturation has with academic and nonacademic self-perception within this population. A total of 78 Hispanic students from the 4th and 5th grades was selected from 3 public schools in Dade County. Thirty-nine children with LD and 39 children without LD were matched on age and gender. The measures that were individually administered to each child were the Self-Description Questionnaire I (SDQI) and the Short Acculturation Scale for Hispanic Youth (SASH-Y).The results indicated that the academic self-perceptions of the Hispanic children with LD did not differ from their peers without LD. There was a small but statistically significant difference in the scores obtained on the nonacademic self-perception scale, indicating that the children without LD had higher nonacademic self-perceptions. Yet, the children with and without LD scored above the normative mean on both the academic and nonacademic self-perception scales. There was no significant relationship between level of acculturation and academic and/or nonacademic self-perception. Some of the clinical and research implications from these findings that are discussed include how the academic and nonacademic self-perceptions between the children with and without LD might not be different within this Hispanic population; and how the measures should be revalidated with diverse populations. In addition, the possible influence of geographic location and school-based interventions on the findings of this study is discussed. Further research that investigates differences across cities and schools is recommended.


Education, Guidance and Counseling; Psychology, Personality; Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies

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